An almighty 198GB of Xbox Series X is earmarked away from your game storage purposes.
If there was ever a doubt in your mind that new consoles are PCs at heart, then look at the storage space reserved for the operating system and system files on the Xbox Series X in IGN’s preview.
Whilst you expect a Windows 10 storage requirement of around 32 GB at most, expect the Xbox Series X to reserve a positively eye-watering 198GB. This is an increase on the Xbox One’s sizeable consumption by its OS of 138GB. This encapsulates the OS, first-party apps, and space for updates, but why in the name of Phil Spencer is it so much?
It’s for the best, then, that director of project management for the console, Jason Ronald, stated in an IGN interview that they were going to keep Xbox Series X game file sizes “as small as possible”. We’ll have to see if this becomes a differentiating factor between the consoles, since it was recently revealed that PS5 install sizes were going to be sizeable.
Many players might need an expanded storage solution, then. You can currently buy a Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X that offers an additional 1 TB of external memory whilst promising no decrease in “peak speed and performance” compared to the internal SSD. The price of that speed-boosting shared Velocity architecture is a hefty £220 in the UK.
Alternatively, VentureBeat ran some transfer speed tests and found that transferring Assassin’s Creed: Origins from a much cheaper (and larger) external USB 3.0 HDD to the internal SSD took 7:46.03 minutes and seconds compared to 2:18.53 for an external SSD. As an infamous install juggler myself, this seems to be a good compromise. Certainly better than outright redownloading games.
It’s rumoured that within those 200GB is the lost city of Atlantis, the holy grail, and the meaning of life. At least, that’s the only justification I can see for its size.